The Grande Yellowhead Public School Division has decided to not to participate in a wind power project.
The decision was reached during the Nov. 21 public board meeting. The project in question is the Bull Creek Wind Power Project in Southern Alberta.
“We are not saying no to green power, we are saying no to this project,” board chair John Stitzenberger said.
Hinton Ward Trustee Shirley Caputo looked up the project on her laptop and shared what she found. She said that there this project would generate energy with wind turbines and sell the energy to the schools.
Had Grande Yellowhead opted into this project they would have received an equity position in the project as well as pricing set for 25 years. This fact is what appeared to turn many of the trustees and leadership council off of the project.
“This is not a risk we nave to absorb as a division,” Edward Latka assistant superintendant of business services said.
Latka did say that this project was not all bad. He pointed out that this project would help with revenue for the division. He said that 25 per cent of the project’s equity comes from the school divisions and the remaining 75 per cent comes from other sources.
Latka also pointed out that other school divisions have refused. He said that signing for 25 years leave no way for the division until 25 years have expired. Latka said that if they did decline this would not stop the division from participating in other projects in the future.
“Not involving in this project does not mean the board cannot go ahead with green energy projects,” he said. “Just not this one.”
Director of facility services Ken Baluch added that just because they support this project, it does not mean they will get their power directly from the Bull Creek plant.
Jasper Ward Trustee Betsy DeClerq mentioned that she would like to see the division run on green energy.
“It would be absolutely wonderful to say we run on green energy,” she said.
DeClerq asked if there were other ways of running the division’s schools on green energy.
Baluch said that the division could buy energy credits.
Grande Yellowhead did discuss pricing details of the project during a private meeting and were not able to release any information on pricing.